Last weekend was a biggy for me, as we celebrated the 1st anniversary of the Kick Start Fat Loss Diet and Fitness Club with our annual conference in Derby. It was a great weekend of ideas and our vision and blueprint for 2014. There are so many exciting projects moving forward with KSFL it was a truly positive and exhilarating weekend. Also, a huge thanks to everyone who posted feedback about last week’s newsletter. Literally hundreds of people tweeted, facebooked and emailed to say how much you enjoyed the articles. It makes such a difference when I get feedback, as writing the newsletter week after week can be tough at times, so I appreciate every one who takes a moment to send feedback. So thank you i REALLY appreciate it
New KSFL Franchisees
As the KSFL brand is growing now at a rapid rate I’m looking for more committed, entrepreneurial Fitpros who would like to join the team. The Franchise now includes 2 postcodes where you can teach your live classes, online programmes and products, executive for working in local businesses and the brand new Detox and Make over package working with local Hair and Beauty salons. The opportunity to create a sustainable and profitable business is a massive reality with all of the income streams created if you are wanting to work with me to expand your business. We are changing lives all over the UK with all of the different programmes and initiatives and there is so much more to come in 2014. If you are thinking that a KSFL franchise might be what you are looking for, then check out all of the details in the information page and do let me know if you would like to chat about it http://www.kickstartfatloss.net/ksfl-clubs/ksfl-franchisee-business-opportunity/
New 21 Day KSFL 21/2 Stone + to lose group
I am starting a new 21 day online Kick Start Fat Loss Group for those with 21/2stone+ to lose. The workouts are new HIIT Lite workouts so not as intense and I have added more Fitness Pilates and Floor work workouts for this group. If you would like to join the group that starts on Monday then click here https://choreographytogo.infusionsoft.com/saleform/nathniwo
A topic I love to revisit from time to time, and as 2014 is rolling up faster than any of us can believe, now is a great time to make sure your website is fully functional, able to take bookings and YOU are able to update it. Here are my top tips for creating the perfect fitness website for your business.
1.In my humble opinion WordPress is still the best platform to build your website on. It’s free, you can choose a funky theme and you can easily get someone to create it for you really quickly. Both C2Go and KSFL are both built on wordpress blogs.
2.Invest in a robust email newsletter delivery system. Aweber, Constant Contact & Mailchimp are all great ways for you to collect email addresses and send out your regular newsletter and your special offers and updates. YOU have to collect every email address possible and build up a list of everyone who visits your site and comes to your sessions.
3.Wordpress has tons of “plug ins” which means you can plug in videos, podcasts, photos, audio features and pretty much everything you need to make your website an all singing all dancing site that is attractive and will service your members and client base. Plus, it will create your own revenue stream.
4.Learn how to update your site yourself. Firstly, I would get someone to create your site for you and get lessons from them on how to update it so you can change, tweak and update the site as often as required. If you can’t do this, then life can become expensive and difficult as you will always have to rely on a 3rd party to update things, which is tiresome. So learn how to do it yourself. It’s worth it.
5. Invest in great branding and graphics. Your banners and logos need to be created professionally. Choose your colours, logos and fonts wisely and employ a graphic designer to do a selection for you until you get the right mix for you and your brand. This could take a few weeks so don’t rush it and really consider the kind of image you want the site to give.
6.Make sure you have a shop where you can sell your classes, services, online products easily and are able to add new products as your create them.
Paypal is the easiest way to take payment, so sign up for Paypal Pro account and lean how to create Paypal buttons to take money in your shop.
7.Create great content for your website and keep updating it. Your site is a reflection of YOU and your services. There’s nothing worse than a cheap looking, outdated site, so keep adding to it once it is built.
8.You can easily get a wordpress blog/website built for you. My favorite site to getting things technically done is Peopleperhour.com and I like to use people based in the UK. They maybe a little more expensive but you will get what you want so much faster and easier than if you outsource overseas. Use the same site to find graphic designers and adding plug ins for your site.
If you already have a site that’s looking a little tired and not really performing, then now is a great time to put some effort into it and getting it all shiny and new ready for the new year.
If you have decided to get a new website then I suggest 100% you take a look at www.Peopleperhour.com I LOVE this site and get so many of my technical jobs done here. You can easily search for web designers, take a look at each one carefully and check out their portfolios. You will be able to see samples of their past projects and work. Put a brief together of exactly what you would like to create send an email asking if this is something they can do for you. I would send your brief to several possible designers and ask for feedback on your project, then all you need to do is choose the one that feels right for you.
Quick Tips when Outsourcing
1.Create a brief of how you want your new site to look.
2.Search PPH website and check out as many of the web designers as possible.
3.Contact each one that looks like it could fit your bill and email your brief asking for feedback, costings and how long it may take.
4.Research thoroughly each designer’s portfolio and ask more questions if necessary.
5.Choose one. You are asked for a deposit, then the balance on completion.
You will need to make tweaks and updates as you work though the project. Ask the designer to consult you at all stages of the design to ensure they are on track.
Getting a site built is really not as scary as you think and using a site like PPH is a straight forward process. Do let me know how you get on. Tweet me @rachelHolmes or message me via Facebook.com/Choreographytogo
WILL YOU BE MAKING THE HEADLINES IN 2014? by Yvonne Radley
How many of you have got your marketing sorted for 2014?
Have you plotted key dates on your calendars in a bid to be more organised this year?
New Year’s Resolution blog?
Spring Into Fitness?
The list is endless and there are loads of ways to get press attention with these main events.
But this year I want you to ask yourself a NEW QUESTION
Before you do anything else
Before you plan ANY marketing or publicity
I only did this myself recently and it’s made a HUGE DIFFERENCE to my business and where I target my marketing
The question is this…
HOW MANY CUSTOMERS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
It might be 5 more to fill your classes
Or you might be after 100’s or even 1,000’s to buy your online product
Whichever it is the marketing is very different for both
So think carefully in 2014 and target your customers more specifically you’re your blogs, emails and newsletters you write.
If you only need 5 people to fill your classes that is very achievable
If you are setting up a new class and need 30 then market around that with local media, flyers, Twitter and Facebook updates
Maybe you have a new online product and are chasing the masses. In this case you need to be writing about your new product constantly, using Pinterest or Instagram to show it, talking to people on social media and letting them know what’s coming.
If you would like a free strategy call to discuss your plans for 2014 then I have 10 spaces available just email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Me Up Media
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MOVE ?????? by Kerry Bowler
I have been a reader of C2Go for about a year, and love reading and learning from other fitness pros, it has really helped me.
What I would be interested in if any fit pros have gone through a similar situation as me, I’m gonna call it –
‘ Success in the community, then you have to move and start again, ahhhhh’
My name is Kerry. I moved to St Albans Hertfordshire about 20 months ago, having done a little research on the area, and feeling quite disheartened that Zumba and kids classes were in every local hall. I thought, well Kerry you gotta start somewhere!
You see, I had lived in Cyprus for the past 8 years, and had established myself as a dance and fitness instructor in my community and taught in the army bases. My classes were busy and everyone knew who I was, so having to leave Cyprus due to the Euro crisis, was a real stress.
So, myself, my partner and our dog rocked up in the rain at our lovely friend’s house where we could stay for a while, feeling quite depressed and deflated at our future prospects! How on earth was I going to move back to the UK to an area that I didn’t know and start all over again?
So, can you establish yourself in the community when nobody knows you?
Why would people come to your class instead of the class they have gone to for the past few years?
I actually don’t know the answer to these, but I have given it a good bash!
You see, I knew I had to be different to the usual community classes in the area, so I decided to create my own, as previously reading on C2GO, it has worked for other fit pros. So, still feeling a bit sorry for myself, and missing the sunshine, I created a fitness class that would make me feel good about myself, and feel confident. B Burlesque the fun sassy workout was formed, and it was time to put it out there! Yet another hurdle arose, along with people still not knowing me in my community, people wouldn’t know what B Burlesque was? AHHHHHHH!!!!
I tried everything I could, leaflet drops, free demos, local paper feature, banners before my launch, to get it out there. Once launched, my class numbers were ok, but not great enough to financially keep it going. So after 3 months I had to stop.
Not giving in, as I believed in my class, I approached gyms, and was given trials at the only spare slots they had, which were never gonna work! Anyway one gym stuck with my class, as the manager loved it, and we became good friends. 6 months in, just as I was beginning to finally get there with numbers and people knowing me, the gym cut all classes, and my friend lost her job!
Having all the contacts from my classes there and phone calls asking where I was going to continue teaching, gave me the incentive to carry on and find somewhere else.
I found a community hall in a different town to before that was reasonable, and ‘Hey Presto’ after 18 months of being in the UK, my class actually took off! This was purely by word of mouth that people came and are still continuing to come. I have since been approached by other venues about classes, and I also run B Burlesque workshops.
So, maybe it is possible to establish yourself in the community when nobody knows you, but it takes time, and you have to pick the right place, do your homework, else you are just wasting time and money.
I don’t think you can drag people away from a class they have been going to for years, but there are plenty of people out their looking for an alternative class to the usual ones offered in communities.
Of course I still have lots to do to get my class out there in my community, but 20 months on, after returning to the UK with no home, no job, no sunshine! even though we still have no sunshine, I do at least have the other 2, and am happy.
Never give up!
Keep it sassy, Love Kerry x
Facebook – BBurlesque Twitter – @BBurlesqueuk
The Great Big Gaping Hole
By Jo De Rosa
What advice do I give those struggling with an addiction?
People are always asking me how to tackle an addiction and I can only answer from my own personal experience. This is very important to me, as how on earth would I know the answer to something I’ve never witnessed myself!
For me I talk about ‘the hole’. When you cease taking a substance you are leaving a great big gaping hole in it’s place and if you are not prepared for this sudden space in your life then things are going to be very difficult, and you tumbling back towards your substance of choice is unfortunately likely.
I did this numerous times,
“This is the last cigarette I’m EVER smoking!”
“I’m NEVER drinking again!”
It was all very dramatic and I absolutely meant it when I said it, but was always completely unprepared for when the drug demon came to visit me. In the end I realised that I needed to be on guard and ready for when the substance started to leave my body and make me feel like a pile of poo.
And then I understood ‘the hole’.
You have to fill it with something. In the beginning at least. For me it was yoga, meditation, juicing and filling my body with goodness rather than poison. And I’ve detoxed from cigarettes, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine and over the counter pain killers: all of them toxic; all of them killers; and all of them with the promise of relief but actually leading you into a life of despair.
So, the instruction is to fill ‘the hole’ with something that you enjoy and is good for you. When you have the addictive urge, instead of going to the substance move towards your chosen substitute, remembering the golden rule here of the replacement being HEALTHY.
Here is a list of 7 things you can do to fill ‘the hole’:
1. Touch your first finger and thumb together in ‘chin mudra’ position. This stimulates the pituitary gland, which will instantly de-stress you.
2. Find a space and practice some sun salutations or exercise of choice.
3. Steep ½ a cucumber, 1 whole lemon cut into quarters and 6 mint leaves in a large jug of water overnight and drink as a detox drink throughout the day, your withdrawal period, and beyond.
4. Go and sit on a cushion, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing (more on this next week if Rachel will have me back for more!).
5. Buy a blender if you don’t already have one and make a smoothie. Bung in whatever is left in your fridge, always trying to include cucumber and spinach.
6. Go for a walk. Surrounding yourself with the amazingness of nature is uplifting and energising.
7. Hang out and have fun with friends who do not participate in your substance of choice.
A new positive habit
With this method every time you have an urge and replace it with something positive, you are creating a new habit. Your brain gets used to the new pattern of behaviour, the old neural pathway is broken, and a new positive one created in it’s place.
For some the old pathway is never really broken because they still long for the cigarette years after their last one. But if you are truly ready to take on your addiction and release it permanently then it can be done, dare I say easily, in it’s entirety. I can honestly say that even though it took me 10 years to stop smoking, I now NEVER feel like I want a cigarette. Because now that that filth is out of my system, I can see beyond the addiction and am no longer held by it. Why would I fancy putting one of those awful things in my mouth and actually draw that toxic smoke into my lungs?
And 389 days without a drop of alcohol I now feel the same way about drinking. It just seems so silly!
I like what is going on in my sober head, so why would I want to blot it out and feel numb? Why don’t you take a look now at why and when you drink……
Once the initial 3 week withdrawal period is behind you, you will notice that ‘the hole’ which was once so large you feared you’d be eaten by it, is now as small as an unassuming ant …..in fact you are no longer in it!
Welcome to sobriety!
Life on the other side is sweet. The fear has gone, so too the stress. All of a sudden so much time has opened up, time that was once used going over and over the same old patterns and beliefs. I changed the way I thought about my addictions, and I will never ever look back.
I love my new sober life, any one want to join me?
I have a number of retreats coming up in Suffolk if you need to get away and have some me me time:
Yoga for Addictions Retreat: Monday 30th December to Friday 3rd January
Winter Yoga Retreat: Friday 24th to Sunday 26th January
Juice Detox Retreat: Monday 27th to Friday 31st January
Copyright: Jo De Rosa 2013
Money In Versus Energy Out by Jayne Nicholls
When faced with the question, how many classes should an instructor teach per day? I was initially mortified that I should answer this question for any sound minded individual. BUT when you think about it, it is a really important question and one that reflects the quality of our service to the general public.
As a working instructor I have been in a situation where I taught between 5 – 7 classes per day alongside personal training clients. I worked from the crack of dawn to late at night for around 10 years in order to provide myself with a decent standard of living. Were my classes at their best during this time? They were certainly at their most popular, however, the content was not as considered as it would be these days. This then begs the question, are we providing a mindful service or one that appeals to the largest number of people? Any instructor working for the major chains will tell you that quantity far outweighs quality these days and despite having the most rigid ever industry standards to conform to, you will only hang on to your classes if they consistently meet target numbers.
So we are in a bit of a pickle. If you teach as a hobby or to supplement another income then you can afford to teach one class per day , per week or per month if you choose but those who opt for teaching as a career do not have that luxury. My personal rule is that I only teach back to back classes but this rule is a lot harder to enforce in the present climate than it used to be.
I am in a quandary because one side of me says that the more we teach the more susceptible we are to:
Low immune system
HOWEVER fitness is a business for so many of us and we need to fulfill our weekly wage.
Having thought about it for a few weeks now, I think the best way forward is for any full time instructor to diversify. There are so many skills we can add to our Group X Training qualifications these days that a certain amount of work hours per week can be put aside for less physically demanding and more lucrative specialty sessions.
I personally think that small group fitness is going to be massive and with courses such as ‘I move freely’ & ViPR Training we can make bespoke workouts for specific demographics.
With a little lateral thinking and the mentoring of other like minded professionals we can certainly create niche markets that are short or long term ‘cash cows’. What are your thoughts on this subject, do you think that the average Group X instructor is reaching their potential?
If YES let us know how
If NO let us know why
By Andrew Crawford
Millions on the breadline but India can afford to send a space rocket into space……Warped Perspective.
For 7 years International Police in conjunction with UK intelligence have been following up a leads from ‘Positive Sightings’ and a photo e-fit of a tall blond haired blue eyed man witnesses say was leaving the building from which Maddie McCann was abducted / missing…..!!
Imagine my utmost surprise when this week whilst paying for petrol the headline that took my gaze said……”…Face Of Maddie Suspect…..”
This ‘suspect’ was totally opposite to what Scotland Yard released years beforehand of the man they want to question in connnection to this crime. He was from West Africa…….yes………a man of colour….!!!
They will not be able to question him because he died 4 years ago….!!!
How convenient. What a Perspective.
Once again MP’s hit the headlines by being criticised for claiming £200,000 of taxpayers’ money to cover the cost of their energy bills.
340 MPs, including ministers, have used the parliamentary expenses system to recoup the cost of heating their second homes,
The claims do not break any ‘parliamentary rules’ but come at a time of heightened tensions over the spiralling cost of gas and electricity. A Parliamentary Perspective.
Banks main purpose is to be in business to make money from you. In your opinion, do you think they like these little Payday loan companies ‘stealing’ the small clients’ interest from them?? I think not.
Because of the high percentage rates being charge, Pay Day companies are making great profits from their small loans, this doesn’t bode well with the well-known household named banks Perspective.
OK Andrew………not exactly Accountancy or Tax related…!!
I know……..but from the realms of financing short term expenditure it is an Interesting Perspective.
The following is not my work. I became very interested when there was a whole morning dedicated to it and a parliamentary meeting was undertaken to question the operators of these type of companies. I gleaned the following from various sources from the internet and summarised it for easy reading
How do payday loans work?
Someone will borrow a few hundred pounds from a payday loan firm for a short time, to tide them over until they receive their next wage or salary cheque.
The borrower will usually offer a post-dated cheque to the lender to cover the eventual repayment of the money borrowed, plus interest.
The cash is often emergency borrowing to pay an urgent unexpected bill, or rent or utility bills.
How many people use them?
There are no official figures on how many people use this sort of borrowing.
But Consumer Focus estimated last year that 1.2 million people took out 4.1 million loans in 2009.
But it said the value of the loans was growing rapidly.
As a result of its most recent inquiries, which led to an interim report in November 2012, the OFT thinks that as much as £1.8bn a year may now be being lent by payday lenders.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that about two million people in the UK used payday loans.
Who uses them?
The OFT found that the typical borrower of a payday loan was “more likely to be a young male, earning more than £1,000 monthly, and in rented accommodation. Many are unmarried with no children”.
But the borrowers are not normally unemployed or without a bank account.
They sometimes see the short-term loan as a sensible alternative to running up an unauthorised bank overdraft.
Some have turned to these lenders because household budgets are being squeezed and banks have restricted their credit offers.
How many firms offer them?
The OFT said in that there were about 240 payday loan firms altogether in the UK, with the top 50 accounting for most of the lending.
Its previous research suggested there were about 2,000 High Street payday loan shops, some of which are part of large national chains, such as The Money Shop.
Some were also pawnbrokers as well, operating out of the same premises.
There were also thought to be more than 100 online firms offering cash too, which were much more expensive.
Across the whole consumer credit industry there are 72,000 lenders, the PAC says, but this includes credit card firms and door-to-door lenders.
Are they regulated?
Yes. Any lender, whether it be a big High Street bank or a one-outlet payday loan shop needs a consumer credit licence from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
What is the problem?
The loans are very expensive with very high rates of interest.
But in the eyes of the borrower that is often not relevant. What matters is the cash cost of repaying the loan.
That can be acceptable to the borrower if the payday loan is more convenient than an overdraft, or some other sort of arranged loan, and is taken for just a few days.
The problem for a borrower starts to build up quickly if he or she cannot in fact repay the loan as planned, and it gets extended, or rolled over.
The interest then builds up rapidly and can soon swamp the size of the original loan.
Should anything be done?
Despite the negative publicity surrounding payday loan firms, the OFT said in 2010 that these and other high-cost credit businesses – such as pawn brokers or home-credit lenders – should not have their interest charges restricted.
It concluded that they provided a useful service for some people who would not otherwise be able to borrow legitimately and who might thus be forced to borrow from illegal loan sharks.
But it changed its tune in its November 2012 report specifically on payday lenders. It has recently threatened to refer the industry to the Competition Commission and has told individual lenders to improve how they deal with customers.
Here are the top 12 apparently
Sunny Flexible Credit
Purple Payday Loan
Quick Quid FlexiCredit
Cash Cow Now
The financial implications of non-payment
You should always make repayments on your payday loan on time and in full. The interest rates and information we list in our comparison tables assume that you will do this. Payday loan lenders each have their own policies regarding non-payment, this affects the additional interest and charges they apply and the debt collection practices they use.
If you do not make your agreed repayments on time then you are likely to be charged extra interest and additional fees. Some lenders will also take legal action if you repeatedly fail to repay. How much extra you are charged and the collection practices used for non-payment will depend on the payday loan lender you have borrowed from; you should check this before applying. Your payday loan payments will be taken out of your account automatically.
However, if you do not have enough money in your account to cover the payment you are likely to incur extra charges. You are also likely to be charged interest on your balance at that point; this may be more than the original amount you borrowed.
If you think you may have difficulty making a repayment you should contact your lender immediately. Failure to do so could impact your credit score and result in additional charges.
The impact of non-payment on your credit score
Non-payment will also be recorded on your credit file. Repeated non-payment may have a negative impact on your credit rating and affect your eligibility for future borrowing. You should always make repayments on time and in full to avoid any repercussions on your credit rating.
Renewal policy information
It is not advisable to renew or extend a payday loan. However, if you do need to you should contact your lender to arrange an extension before they try to take payment. Most payday loan lenders will charge you an extension fee and additional interest on your total outstanding balance. Some lenders will automatically renew or extend your payday loan if you do not make an agreed repayment. This is likely to cost you extra in additional fees, interest and charges. You should check your chosen lender’s approach to payday loan extensions before you apply.
Payday loan collection practices
If you fail to make an agreed repayment on a payday loan most lenders will contact you by phone, post or email to rearrange your repayment. If you repeatedly fail to make repayments then they may use collection practices or take legal action. You should familiarise yourself with the collection practices of your chosen payday lender before you take one out.
OK………There is lots of information out there for you to research.
The weekend saw the first year convention of Rachel Holme’s Kick Start Fat Loss (KSFL). Excited Franchisees from around the country gathered in Derby to listen to Rachel, the creator of this phenomenal programme, map out future opportunities. I’m honoured to be in this forward looking team. Exciting times ahead.
Have yourself a fantastic weekend….. Talking from a Higher Perspective.
Andrew James Crawford
Have a Wonderful Week
Much Love Rachel xxx